Initial Unemployment Claims Decreased 12/6 to 12/12

During the week of December 6 – December 12, there were 19,547 initial regular unemployment claims (down 20.5 percent from the prior week) and 491,261 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (down 0.3 percent from the prior week) filed by Washingtonians, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).

  • Initial regular claims applications remain at elevated levels and are at 168 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims and continued/ongoing claims for regular benefits all increased over the week.
  • Decreases in regular initial claims over the week occurred across most industry sectors with the largest decreases over the week occurring in the Accommodation and food services (-1,585) and Construction (-1,284) industry sectors.

In the week ending December 12, ESD paid out over $145 million for 300,225 individual claims. Since the crisis began in March, ESD has paid more than $12.9 billion in benefits to over a million Washingtonians.

Unemployment claim typeWeek of December 6-December 12Week of November 29-December 5Week of November 22-November 28
Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) initial claims19,54724,58722,334
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims4,0613,7593,302
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims12,77511,0437,082
Continued/ongoing weekly claims454,878453,144426,963
Total claims491,261492,533459,681

For more information on current claimants and claims processing progress, please go to the benefits data dashboard on the ESD website. 

Note: Detailed claims data and charts by county, industry and occupation will be included in this release on the first Thursday of every month. You can find detailed claims data anytime on the ESD website

Below is a forty-one week summary of statewide initial claims filed since the start of the COVID-19 crisis:

41 week claims table Dec 6 - 12
Statewide initial claims line chart Dec 6 - 12
Statewide total claims line chart Dec 6 - 12